Trump: No deal to legalise 'Dreamers'

PALM BEACH (Florida) • US President Donald Trump spent his Easter morning on an anti-immigrant tirade, declaring there would be no deal to legalise the status of undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, an issue which could tip control of Congress in November's mid-term elections .

An hour after he wished Americans a "HAPPY EASTER" on Sunday, Mr Trump fired off three tweets in which he vented, sometimes in all caps, about immigration laws he derided as "ridiculous" and "dumb" and about border enforcement he deemed dangerously lax.

In his first of the immigration-related tweets, Mr Trump wrote: "Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!"

Mr Trump last year cancelled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme, which was begun in the Obama administration to provide temporary protection for some 1.8 million Dreamers who were brought to the United States as children.

To qualify for Daca, immigrants must have lived in the US since 2007, have arrived in the country before age 16 and have been younger than 31 on June 15, 2012. No one arriving in the country after that date is eligible.

After cancelling Daca, Mr Trump said he would like to reach a deal with Congress to protect Dreamers from deportation in exchange for funding to build his long-promised wall at the US-Mexico border.

But he has rejected immigration proposals from congressional Democrats in recent months, putting the divisive issue into the middle of some hotly contested campaigns for November's midterm polls.

A sizeable majority of Americans, especially Democrats and independents, support giving legal status to Dreamers, opinion polls have shown.

The topic resonates especially in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Nevada - states with large Hispanic populations where Democrats are seeking to chip away at the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

WASHINGTON POST, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2018, with the headline 'Trump: No deal to legalise 'Dreamers''. Print Edition | Subscribe